What your fingernails say about your health.

We see a lot of patients asking about the health of their toenail. A number of them feels silly for even asking. The interesting fact is that the integrity of your fingernail and toenails can share a great deal of information about your well-being. Your nails can show if you are suffering from a cardiovascular to thyroid to autoimmune disease.

Here are some common nail conditions and causes we see:

  1. Yellow
  • Fungal Infection
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Respiratory disease i.e Chronic bronchitis

2. Pitted

  • Psoriasis
  • Connective Tissue Disorders i.e. Reiter’s syndrome
  • Alopecia Areata: Typically associated with hair loss.

3. Dry, Crack and Brittle

  • Fungal Infection
  • Regular exposure to chemical i.e Cleaning Products
  • Thyroid disease i.e Hypothyroidism
  • Deficiency in vitamin A, B and C

4. Clubbing

  • Lung disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • HIV/AIDS

5. Horizontal Ridges (Beau’s Line)

  • Psoriasis
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Circulatory disease
  • Severe zinc deficiency

6. Vertical Ridges

  • Age related changes
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Magnesium deficiency

7. Spoon (Koilonychia)

  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Hemochromatosis (excess iron absorption)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypothyroidism

8. Dark Discolouration

  • Trauma leading to underlying bleeding
  • Subungal haematoma (blood blister)
  • Melanoma

9. White Nail With A Strip of Pink (Terry’s Nail)

  • Age related changes
  • Liver disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes

If your nails fit into any of these categories, please do not assume you have these health conditions. This blog post is merely an education on the different presentation of nails that are linked with specific medical conditions. If you do have any concerns with regards to the appearance of your nails AND experience symptoms that is affecting your health and lifestyle, please consult with your GP and visit a podiatrist who can further examine the structure and shape of your toenail to give you more insight about the health of your toenail.

Reference: Dr Joseph Mercola, 10 Nail Symptoms And What They Mean For Your Health

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Email: info@brindabellapodiatry.com.au

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